Vladimir Davydov

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Vladimir Davydov (1871–1906)
Pictured with the composer in June 1892

Tchaikovsky's nephew (b. 2/14 December 1871 at Kamenka; d. 14/27 December 1906 at Klin), born Vladimir Lvovich Davydov (Владимир Львович Давыдов), and known to his family as Bob (Боб).

Vladimir was the second son of the composer's sister Aleksandra (b. Tchaikovskaya, 1842–1891) and her husband Lev Davydov (1837–1896), and from his earliest years he presented an aptitude for music and drawing, which his uncle attempted to encourage. However, after studying at the Imperial School of Jurisprudence in Saint Petersburg, he then opted for a military career, retiring as a lieutenant from the Imperial Preobrazhensky Regiment in 1900.

Vladimir Davydov was Tchaikovsky's favourite nephew, and he dedicated to him the Children's Album for piano (1878) and his Symphony No. 6 — "Pathétique" (1893). Under the terms of his uncle's will, Vladimir inherited all the royalties from the composer's works, which he used to help establish the Tchaikovsky House-Museum at Klin, with assistance from Modest Tchaikovsky and Aleksey Sofronov.

Vladimir Davydov committed suicide on 14/27 December 1906, aged 35, at the composer’s former home at Klin. He is buried at the town's Demyanovo Cemetery.

Tchaikovsky's Works Dedicated to Vladimir Davydov

Correspondence with Tchaikovsky

43 letters from Tchaikovsky to Vladimir Davydov have survived, dating from 1889 to 1893, all of which are available in English translations on this website:

68 letters from Vladimir Davydov to the composer, dating from 1889 to 1893, are preserved in the Klin House-Museum Archive.